The Glass Menagerie Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Glass Menagerie.
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Appearances and Reality

Throughout this play, emerging in every scene and through the actions of every character is the theme of Appearances vs. Reality. Characters believe in a future and a past which are not realistic, and these beliefs affect the decisions they make regarding their relationships with each other. For example, Amanda frequently describes the days of her youth, when she claims she received "seventeen! gentlemen callers!" during one Sunday afternoon. Although she describes these men as if they either are wealthy or have died a tragic/heroic death, the man she married was apparently both unsuccessful and irresponsible. And despite all evidence to the contrary, Amanda seems to believe that Laura, too, will one day be visited by similar gentlemen callers.

Rather than fantasizing about his past, Tom believes that his future holds excitement, if he can only escape his family. Yet he fails to escape completely...

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This section contains 704 words
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Buy The Glass Menagerie Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Glass Menagerie from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.